Monday, March 27, 2023

Wheat vs Tare

Years ago, "kit cars" were a big craze. Basically, it's the process of replacing both interior and exterior vehicle parts  with reproduced parts which mimic another make and model. All the while, the original, internal components such as frame, engine, subassemblies, and supporting systems remain in place - without which would yield an immovable hunk of metal and electronics.


I discussed this same concept with a group of men a while back using the example of modifying a Dodge truck to resemble a Chevy - which was met with much horror. After some debate, we came to the conclusion that no matter how much one might desire the Dodge to become a Chevy, even going to extreme lengths to use genuine Chevrolet parts, when you went to work on what defines it as an automobile, you'd still find a Dodge at the core.

So, even though the driver might ride around proudly in a marvelously looking pseudo-Chevy, ultimately, he or she must acknowledge that onlookers are in fact being deceived. Likewise, the question must be asked, will the driver ultimately succumb to self-inflicted deception? I say, yes.

Spiritually speaking, the Bible warns us of impending judgement for those who practice hypocrisy and deception. Yahweh (The LORD in Hebrew) gives us insight into His view on the matter when He says that He desires that we be either hot or cold. A "lukewarm" believer, he detests and explains that He will spit them from His mouth. I'd say that's not a good thing. And, Yeshua (Jesus in Hebrew), our Messiah, warns that we should beware the "leaven" of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 


We all cherish those around us who are genuine - both for the good or bad. Why? because either way, you know where you stand with such a person. Father God feels the same way with us when we're given the parable of the wheat and tares in Matthew 13. The difference between the two is very simple: wheat is the genuine plant while a tare is really a weed pretending to be wheat. How can you tell the difference between the two? In the parable, we're told to wait until harvest at which time, the wheat with its fruit weighing it down, will bow low, while the tare yielding no fruit will continue to stand tall and proud. 

At the time of harvest, will you be recognized as a wheat or tare? The Master can tell the difference.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Go to the Source

This weekend, my wife and I were blessed to be able to spend our 30th wedding anniversary in the hills of Arkansas.

Natural springs and water sheds contribute the the enumerable babbling brooks scattered throughout the beautiful landscape. We're both in awe of the beauty and always tempted to pull off the road whenever possible to view the scenery, take in the fresh air, and enjoy sounds of creation.

At one point while looking a ways upstream, I noticed several industrial drain pipes extending to the creek bed. Now, let me be clear. In no way am I suggesting that anything nefarious was taking place. I simply took notice of the situation and it reminded me of an educational experience during my teenage years.

Behind my father's house was a pond which was fed by an artesian spring. From time to time, my siblings and I would venture to that area and explore a bit. On one such day, we began our trek from where the spring met the pond and traversed the gully which I assumed was eventually cut through the hillside by the waterway. We hadn't walked far when I had the idea to take a quick drink from the small stream, but for some reason I didn't and resumed my expedition. A few paces farther, my thankfulness for not taking that drink became realized when I recognized a dead animal lying in the water. I shudder even now to think what nastiness would have been consumed had I followed through on the taste of "fresh" spring water. Lesson learned: if you want pure, uncontaminated hydration, you need to go upstream as far as possible. The closer to the source you are, the purer and richer the supply will be.


Spiritually speaking, its the same with God's Word. If we are content with obtaining "Truth" as it flows down stream, then we must understand that spiritual contamination by man is inevitable. God tells us this by the instruction to not add to nor take away from His Word. The only reason He would give such a directive is that He knew it would be a real issue. Man always thinks he can improve on what's been provided... "industrial drains" contaminating the pure "River of Life".

The solution? Go upstream! Take it upon yourself and decide to not settle for mixture of life and death. Desire purity and seek it out. Here's a hint on how to get started: dust off that Bible and drink directly from The Source. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Significant Insignificance

Preparing for an upcoming out-of-state trip, I've been inspecting my vehicle to ensure everything is in proper working order. In the process, I noticed that my tires will need to replaced fairly soon due to worn tread.

When the time comes for the tires to be replaced, another item of inspection will be the valve stems that protrude from the wheel through which the tires are pressurized. If the stems are made of rubber - which most are, an inspection will be bypassed in favor of outright replacement due to the extremely low cost of the item.
With that said, spending hundreds if not thousands on new tires is a fruitless effort if defective stems remain. The end result will ultimately be that of a need for roadside assistance somewhere along the way.
Also, consider the fact that the failure of a small, mostly insignificant part can bring your entire vehicle (and road trip) to an immediate halt. If and when that time comes, with focus now on that once meaningless part, great importance is now placed on its proper performance. Otherwise, an extremely valuable vehicle becomes a powerless hunk of metal sitting on the roadside.


Spiritually speaking, take time to recognize, genuinely appreciate, and show gratitude to those who work behind the scenes in your Church body: janitors, nursery workers, kitchen staff, security, secretaries, grounds caretakers, volunteers, and the list goes on and on. Without such people, it's highly likely that the various ministries of the Body of Christ would easily come to a screeching halt. Unnoticed? Probably most of the time. Insignificant? Not in the least.
Don't wait until your Church or ministry comes to a halt before providing attention to all of the "working parts within". It takes every part of the vehicle working properly and in unison to make the road trip not only a success, but also enjoyable.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Can't Drive 55?

"I Can't Drive 55" was a popular song of the 80's by Sammy Hagar. Although the speed limit on most roads today are far above the 55's of that time, the result of those lyrics can still be observed.

Come on, you know it's true... if someone is driving slower than you, then they're an idiot; someone driving much faster, a maniac. And, heaven forbid that someone drive the same speed... we just can't let that happen. You get the picture.

Spiritually speaking, we as believers sometimes respond the same way to our brothers and sisters of the faith. Some are moving at a slower pace in their walk while others seem to be blazing past us. And, if anyone is at our same "maturity level"... well, we just can't let that happen. You get the picture.


The "god complex" that resides within this flesh is always at war with our desire to die to self in order to become more like Christ. With this comes our knee-jerk reaction to be judgmental with others - wherever they are in their walk - when we should be more concerned we our own station in life.

Make a decision each and every day, "I will show mercy and grace to those with which I share this journey and focus on my own spiritual growth." I think you'll discover that such an attitude will make this "road" trip much more enjoyable.